Do I Have to Name My Children as Medical Power of Attorney?

She had two adult children, but her niece was more like a daughter to her. Her niece was also a nurse, who she believed would be better suited to make medical decisions on her behalf.

“Can I appoint appoint her instead of my children?” she asked.

If you have not executed a Medical Power of Attorney, the Texas statutes authorize others consent to treatment on your behalf. In order of priority, the following people can make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated:

  1. Your spouse.
  2. Your adult child, with the waiver and consent of all other qualified adult children.
  3. The majority of your children.
  4. Your parents.
  5. An individual clearly identified to act on your behalf before you became incapacitated, your nearest living relative, or a member of the clergy.

But that list applies only if you do not have a Medical Power of Attorney. A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to choose who will make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated and are unable to make those decisions for yourself.

It may be that you would like your spouse or children to make these decisions for you; however, you are not precluded from appointing someone else. The Medical Power of Attorney would permit you to name a niece, or a friend, rather than a spouse or children, if you believe they would be more qualified to serve as your surrogate.

By executing a Medical Power of Attorney, you can ensure that the person you trust most to make important decisions regarding your healthcare will have the authority to do so.

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